Everything you need to know about road rash injuries and recovering compensation in Florida
Riding a motorcycle gives you the freedom to enjoy the open air as you ride along your favorite roads or even head out for your daily work commute. But unfortunately, that freedom can come at a price.
Even if you wear protective gear and take other motorcycle safety measures while on the road, your safety is still influenced by factors you can’t control, such as the behavior of other drivers. In Florida alone, there were 8,649 motorcycle crashes in 2021, including 621 fatalities.
Without the protective outer shell of a vehicle, motorcyclists have an inherently higher risk of injuries than those driving or riding in other types of vehicles during collisions.
Road rash is one of the more common injuries that occur during a motorcycle accident. This article will explain the different kinds of road rash, potential complications and the types of compensation that may be available if you’ve suffered this injury because of someone else’s negligence.
What is road rash?
The term road rash refers to scrapes, abrasions and open wounds that occur when your skin hits a hard surface, such as asphalt. You might also hear of these wounds being referred to as raspberry or strawberry rashes.
Unlike a typical rash that you might get from an allergic reaction to a substance, this motorcycle accident injury can reach through the deeper layers of your skin, which complicates its treatment.
What are the 3 types of road rash?
Determining how to treat road rash begins by identifying which type a person sustained during an accident. Keep in mind that you might have varying types of rash on different parts of your body, and some might even occur in the same location.
An avulsion road rash is the most common type, in which the skin is scraped off during an accident. Avulsion road rashes can occur after even mild accidents if a part of your body touches the ground.
If you are fortunate, this injury will only involve the upper layers of your skin. However, avulsion rashes can also reach down to expose the deeper layers of fat, muscle and bone on the affected part of your body.
In motorcycle collisions, it’s also common for your body to get stuck between two objects. Usually, this is your motorcycle and the road, but it could include the other vehicle that’s involved or objects in your path. Compression road rashes can involve bruising, muscle damage and broken bones.
Road rashes that leave you with an open wound require stitches and other forms of treatment to help prevent infection and promote healing with as little scarring as possible. In severe cases, open wounds from road rash may require skin grafts.
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What are the degrees of road rash and their treatments?
Road rash treatment involves taking a look at the extent of the injury. These types of rashes are typically categorized according to their degree of severity.
1st-degree road rash
This is the most minor degree of road rash that someone can experience, but it can still be quite painful and debilitating. First-degree road rashes involve scrapes with light bleeding. There may be some swelling and redness, but most people can recover through simple self-care at home after they receive their initial diagnosis and treatment plan.
2nd-degree road rash
A 2nd-degree road rash involves deeper breaks in the skin but leaves the underlying layers intact. With 2nd-degree road rash, you may see debris, such as rocks and glass, stuck in the wound. Medical treatments may include cleaning the wound as thoroughly as possible, stitches and other forms of care to prevent infection.
3rd-degree road rash
People with 3rd-degree rashes have severe damage that extends through the layers of the skin and may go deep enough to expose the bone. Significant bleeding tends to be present, and emergency medical care is critical for preventing complications. In some cases, you might need surgery or blood transfusions.
What are some possible complications from road rash?
Infection is the most common complication that arises from road rash. Although some redness is common with mild to severe rashes, you’ll need to reach out to your doctor if you notice it’s getting worse or developing in new areas.
Other complications can include:
- Loss of a limb if the infection isn’t controlled
- Pain both initially and throughout the healing process
- Permanent scarring
What compensation is available for road rash in Florida?
Florida compensation for motorcycle accidents includes the following.
Economic damages are intended to compensate the injured party for financial losses that result from the accident. They include:
- Medical expenses for current and future medical treatment, including doctor’s visits, surgeries, medications costs, physical therapy, etc.
- Lost wages if your injuries impact your ability to work during recovery or your future earning potential
- Property repair or replacement
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Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate because they are intended to compensate the injured party for nonmonetary losses, including:
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were especially careless or intentional and are intended to punish the defendant and deter others from similar behavior.
Do you need a lawyer after a motorcycle accident?
Road rash can cause pain and mental anguish that makes it hard to focus on the legal issues of your case, and, unfortunately, insurance companies and other involved parties often try to place the blame on the motorcyclist.
A personal injury lawyer can help by conducting a thorough investigation of your case to determine who is liable for the accident. They can also file and manage your claim and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
Contact an experienced Florida motorcycle attorney
Even mild road rash injuries can take a rapid and dramatic turn. Reach out to an experienced Tampa motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after an accident so your case can be handled with the utmost efficiency and concern for your well-being.